Amazon.com Announces Investment in Pets.com
Leading Online Retailer and Hummer Winblad Venture Partners Help Finance the Internet's Largest Pet Supply Store
SEATTLE, March 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN), the Internet's No. 1 video, No. 1 music, and No.1 book retailer, today announced that it has agreed to obtain an ownership stake of approximately 50% in Pets.com (www.pets.com), the largest pet company on the Internet. Amazon.com joined with venture capital firm Hummer Winblad Venture Partners to fund Pets.com's first round of financing. The transaction is expected to be completed in early April and is subject to execution of definitive documents and customary closing conditions.
In 1998, the pet category, comprised of products and services, was $23 billion in the United States, according to the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council. The financing will be used to fund Pets.com's growth, further develop the Pets.com brand, expand e-commerce and advertising revenue streams, and build distribution through partnerships and alliances. Upon completion of its investment, Amazon.com will own approximately 50% of outstanding shares.
"We invest only in companies that share our passion for customers," said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com founder and CEO. "Pets.com has a leading market position, and its proven management team is dedicated to a great customer experience, whether it's making a product like a ferret hammock easy to find, or help in locating a pet-friendly hotel."
"This is a marriage made in heaven and clearly positions us as the online category leader," stated Julie Wainwright, CEO of Pets.com. "The successful investment track record represented by Amazon.com and Hummer Winblad really makes this a CEO's dream team."
Pets.com (http://www.pets.com) is the largest pet-oriented company on the Internet, specializing in popular and rare pet accessories, products, and food for all types of animals. It was founded by established Internet entrepreneurs Greg McLemore and Eva Woodsmall in 1998.
About Amazon.com, Inc.
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), the Internet's No. 1 video, No. 1 music and No. 1 book retailer, opened its virtual doors on the World Wide Web in July 1995. Today, the Amazon.com store has expanded to offer more than 4.7 million book, music CD, video, DVD, computer game, and other titles, plus secure credit card payment, personalized recommendations, and streamlined ordering through 1-Click(SM) technology.
Amazon.com operates two international Web sites: www.amazon.co.uk in the United Kingdom and www.amazon.de in Germany. Amazon.com also operates PlanetAll (www.planetall.com), a Web-based address book, calendar, and reminder service. It also operates the Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com), the Web's comprehensive and authoritative source of information on more than 150,000 movies and entertainment programs and 500,000 cast and crewmembers dating from the birth of film in 1892 to the present.
This announcement contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others, Amazon.com's limited operating history, anticipated losses, unpredictability of future revenues, potential fluctuations in quarterly operating results, seasonality, intense competition, risks associated with system interruption, management of potential growth, high leverage and risks of new business areas, international expansion, business combinations, and strategic alliances.
More information about factors that potentially could affect Amazon.com's financial results is included in Amazon.com's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 1998.
Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Internet Movie Database, PlanetAll, Earth's Biggest Bookstore, and 1-Click are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc or its affiliates. All other names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.
About Hummer Winblad Venture Partners
Hummer Winblad Venture Partners is a premiere venture capital fund exclusively focused on software and Internet investing with over $200 million under management. Previous investments include PowerSoft Corporation and Arbor Software, as well as Internet companies Net Perceptions, AdForce, HomeGrocer, and Employease. For further information, please visit http://www.humwin.com.